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Archive for the ‘A Nation Divided’ Category

Thought you all might like to read part two in this series. Refreshers are always good…especially after difficult times. A time to look back and reflect…and learn.

MOVING THE ANCIENT BOUNDARIES

Part Two of this post brings me to a truly enormous learning curve. It’s not all about me. And that’s one of the major problems we all face in today’s culture. Bombarded with the deception if it fe…

Source: THINGS GOD’S TAUGHT ME IN 40YEARS OF MARRIAGE…PART TWO

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MOVING THE ANCIENT BOUNDARIES

 Last week would have been our celebration of 43 years of marriage. But God chose to take Dick home on the 22nd of August, 2019.  No surprise to God, but I was overwhelmed with grief…and the past weeks have been difficult to say the least. Yesterday, September 6th, we celebrated Dick’s life with friends and family. And the peace of God’s presence have calmed the waters of fear that threatened to drown me. I don’t know what’s ahead…but God does. Dick’s with Jesus…seeing Him face to face…how can I do anything but praise my Lord and Savior and than Him for the years He gave us. What about you? Where does God find you today. A treasured friend reposted my blog from three years ago…might want to read it….

Dick and I have just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary and while it was a great time of celebration…

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MOVING THE ANCIENT BOUNDARIES

Last week I posted the first of the series on grief I wrote “Grief’s Ugly Step-Sisters” and there was such response, I am again reposting the next post “The Road to Our New Normal.” I pray this post helps those of you new to this tedious journey. Be sure to let us know how  you’re doing and if we can help!

We are the object of attention—until the day after the funeral. That’s when everyone’s life returns to normal. Everyone else’s life, that is.

But not ours.

It’s like we’re on the outside looking in. We humans want to fit in, we’re miserable when we don’t. And in the aftermath of grief we don’t belong. Anywhere. We’ve been stuffed in a sack, shaken up and dumped out. Forever changed.

There’s good news and bad news about grief. The bad news? We will never be the same again. The good news?…

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Many of you know my husband went home to be with the Lord a little over a week ago. I’d love to tell you one trip through grief makes the next one easier…maybe…maybe not. Every grief is unique. But I thought maybe some of you missed this series when I first posted in 2012…and I’m rereading and learning too. Many blessings and the peace of God’s comfort to each one of you grieving the loss of a loved one.

MOVING THE ANCIENT BOUNDARIES

Those of you who follow my blog know my husband and I lost a daughter eleven years ago. Michelle’s death plunged us into deep, inky waters of grief. While struggling just to survive we were blind-sided by Grief’s ugly-step-sisters—Secondary Losses.

Grief is an unwelcome guest who stays much too long, not pretty at all, who plunges the family into chaos. But Secondary Losses are the evil relatives of Grief that slip in the back-door and linger forever. They litter the landscape with shrapnel-sized-shards of anguish that are often as difficult to deal with as the original loss.

Worse yet, they lurk behind the shadow of family members, good friends, even making appearances at happy events. Ever waiting to earn the greatest buck-for-the-bang and then they implode. The injuries they inflict are not terminal, but often perpetrate permanent disabilities upon their victims.

So what in the world are secondary losses?

Well…

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The Days of Noah

Ernie Carrasco has spoken truth in this post and it is well worth the read. Our redemption draws nigh! Great read!

Ernie's Musings

But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matthew 24:37)

Last weekend was a sad time in American history. First, a mass murder took place at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas followed by another in Dayton, Ohio. The nation reels in the aftermath of such senseless violence groping for elusive answers to a problem with no apparent solution. The left blames the President claiming that his rhetoric is divisive and that it fans the flames of hatred. Others on the left blame the guns, and they want to ban all scary-looking rifles. Others want to legislate stricter gun laws. Even the President now calls for better background checks for gun purchases. Mr. President, we already have background checks for gun purchases. I had an FBI background check for every firearm I possess. Background checks will not stop…

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Another great reminder from Julie Cosgrove how God leaves visual reminders for us to think about who we are in Him.

Where Did You Find God Today?

A dear author friend of mine, DiAne Gates, has an eye for beauty that she readily captures in her photographs and her sketches.  She paints great word pictures in her stories, too.

She recently posted this picture of morning glories on Facebook. I can see why they call them glories. They are absolutely gorgeous. Look at how their centers reflect the light. It draws you in, right?

Morning glories are a vine that can tolerate wet rainy seasons or drought conditions. But they need a pole, fence, tree trunk, or something else sturdy to support their growth. Otherwise, they won’t flourish. When darkness blankets the earth, they shut tight. But come sunrise, they greet the new day by opening wide and soaking in the rays.

Describes Christians pretty well, too. Doesn’t it? Or it should.

We can tolerate any condition as long as we can cling to something sturdy, Jesus…

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Beans, beans—pintos, kidney, black beans. Southern brides learn to cook big ole’ potful’s of every kind of dried beans. It’s part of our culture. Add a ham hock or ham seasonings, chopped onions, four or five cloves of chopped garlic, a chopped jalapeno (without the seeds, of course, unless you want to sweat), 3 or 4 bay leaves, a teaspoon or more of cumin (I love cumin), pepper, and a bunch of chicken stock. And you’ve got the makings of a traditional favorite South of the Mason-Dixon.

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Don’t salt those little darlings yet though. Salt makes ‘em tough. Sprinkle on a couple of teaspoons of salt just before serving this tasty meal, and you might want to add lime juice and zest if you’re cooking black beans, topped before serving with a generous dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro—my favorite!

Bring the beans to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer while you’re stirring up a batch of jalapeno-honey-cornbread, slathered in butter. Dinner’ll be ready in a few hours!

Unless your attention’s diverted—

One sniff of something’s burning brings a harsh reality.

Now a new cook might rush to the kitchen, grab a spoon, and stir those scorched, burned beans off the bottom of the pot. But never stir a pot of scorched beans! ‘Cause beans are like kids—little sponges—just like us—absorbing the flavor of their surroundings.

Grab a clean pot and a strainer. Scoop the good beans off the top, rinse ‘em good, replace the water and spices, and begin again. Just like Jesus does with us when we mess up.

 

Don't Stir the Beans 3

 But never stir the good and bad beans together—the whole pot of ‘em will smell and taste nasty.

 

BUT ISN’T THAT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN AMERICA?

Everyone and everything’s being stirred and smushed together—the good, the bad,           and the ugly, all mushed and mashed into a pot of scorched tolerance. No black or white, just putrid gray.

The lies of the world chant, we’re all God’s children—No. We’re not. The Book of Jude tells us—“…some have long ago been marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Only those who’ve been purchased and redeemed by the blood of Christ are God’s children, because they’ve chosen to trust and obey the Lord Jesus Christ. America has reached a time in history when good is called evil…and evil called good.

 

“Thus, says the Lord: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness. In a salt land which is not inhabited” (Jeremiah 17:5-6 NKJV).

 

SIN’S BURNT BEANS

  • Contagious anger that destroys unity and love
  • Liars who spread deception
  • People lacking God’s wisdom, who cannot discern His Truth
  • God cannot hear our cries until His people repent and return to Him
  • Families and cultures are destroyed by divorce
  • Parents fail to teach children truth, so the world teaches them its lies
  • Blood shed of innocent, aborted, babies pollutes our land
  • Homosexuality—God gives them over to their unbelief
  • Stench of sin contaminates everything it touches—just like burned beans
  • Crimes flourish when God’s laws are forsaken
  • Rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ brings destruction and ruin

 

 “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Mathew 12:25 NAS).

 

Don't Stir the Beans

 

AMERICA—A DIVIDED NATION  

Since 1963 we’ve been so busy stirring the godless scorched pots in our homes, our churches, our schools, and our government—stirring in whatever wandered by or was tossed into the American mix with little thought to consequences. Overwhelmed with what we deemed urgent, we failed to discern the important. We lost the ability and failed to edit and condemn the content and context of deception that has crept in among us.

In 1962 and 1963 we kicked prayer and Bible reading out of public-school and statistics record the casualties. SAT scores dropped, divorced exploded, and ten years later we decided it was okay to murder babies in the womb cause our teenagers, deprived of God’s truth, being taught in public schools they were nothing more than animalistic in nature, were having bumper crops of babies they didn’t want out of wedlock. And money-hungry haters stood armed and ready to alter our population.

And today drag queens entertain our precious children at the local library. While public school teachers require elementary age children to explore if they think they are male or female. And we all sit silent.

We’ve forsaken the absolute truth of the Word of God preferring seeker-friendly churches who bend to offer the insatiable buffet of lies the world finds pleasant. And church members, either ignorant or rebellious of the Word’s plumb-line, refuse to filter everything through the lens of God’s truth, choosing instead to gobble enemy lies. And our children have reaped the consequences of our willful slothfulness, ignorance, and rebellion.

At least two or three generations of our kids were bamboozled into believing this amazing, incredible Universe came together by an explosion and all the exquisite creation evolved from a single blob. And those who believe God is the Sovereign, the Master Designer and Creator of the Universe and His Son, Jesus Christ is the Messiah and soon coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords, are ridiculed and threatened and persecuted…in this nation once under God.

 

“By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world” (1 John 4:2-3 NAS).

 

GOD’S PEOPLE PRODUCE FRUIT 

In light of today’s hostile environment, is it fruitful for believers to slug it out with those who don’t agree on Facebook? I don’t believe that’s what God instructs. And I’m learning to ask Him to teach me what He commands… “Go and Tell.” So, in today’s pagan climate, how are we to obey His command to carry the Gospel to everyone?

Jesus instructs believers to allow His Spirit to produce the fruit of self-control in all our responses. But I don’t always stop and allow the Spirit to control my responses—which is sin—and when my tongue slices and dices, I must repent, ask forgiveness, and choose to obey.  Because the Word of God tells me I will reap what I sow…more than I sow…and later than I sow.

 

Row after row of blessings

 

Mama used to say, “Your actions speak so loud I can’t hear what you’re saying.” She was right.

God instructs us, “…to be imitators of God. To walk in love.”  We are to bear the fruit of His Spirit in our lives. These fruits are not multiple choice. The Spirit of God grows and produces these fruits as each believer chooses to desire and allow this transformation—love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control—into our spirit.

Without His fruit we are like those fruitless autumn trees Jude talks about:

 

“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 12-13 NKJV).

 

We must be diligent to assure our words and our lives are constantly being rinsed and cleansed by the pure water of the Word; then seasoned with the mercy and grace of God, and instructions and love of our Lord Jesus. Always allowing the Holy Spirit to stir our hearts and minds to hear what God wants spoken and acted upon in the lives of those He brings to us. Each day we are to clothe ourselves in the complete armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), lest we begin to taste and smell like a pot of burned beans.

 

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“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:17-21 NKJV).

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